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Aretha Franklin Reportedly Has Pancreatic Cancer

Singer, who was hospitalized last week, has yet to comment

December 8, 2010 5:48 PM ET
Aretha Franklin Reportedly Has Pancreatic Cancer
Bryan Bedder/Getty

Soul legend Aretha Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to reports in The Detroit News , Detroit's Fox 2 and The National Enquirer — though phone calls by Rolling Stone to two Franklin representatives were not returned. (The News credits "a source familiar with the situation"; Fox 2 says its source is a relative of Franklin's.)

Aretha Franklin: Rolling Stone's No. 1 Singer Of All Time

Franklin recently canceled all of her tour dates through May 2011 and last week had a surgery for an unknown ailment. In a statement, the singer called her surgery "highly successful," though Detroit residents held a prayer vigil for the singer last week, and Jesse Jackson visited her in the hospital last Friday.

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly lethal form of the disease. Most people die within one year of the diagnosis, and less than five percent of them live more than five years.

Aretha Franklin Stricken With Cancer [Detroit News]

Aretha Franklin Has Cancer [Fox 2]

Aretha Franklin Cancer [National Enquirer]

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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